Archive for the ‘friendship’ Category

This article is useful for any of you seeking to bring dimensions of gender into Derrida’s discussions of political community, specifically the impasse between universality and singularity, and the undecidability of justice. For Diane Perpich, critical engagement with the notion of sexual difference in relation to political desire opens up possibilities to move beyond (if not fully overcome) the conceptual impossibility of justice, and to resolve the impasse between universality and singularity in relation to political belonging. Despite the author’s intentions, I personally felt the article served as a compelling illustration of the difficulty of getting beyond these aporias. However, it is smart and incisive, and worth reading for anyone interested in engaging these questions. (more…)


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Central to Puspa Damai’s article on the Messianic-City is the concept of hospitality. It is inextricable from the Derridian concept of a “city of refuge” and what Derrida sees as the intent of a city. Ruin, the threat of ruin and asylum are all discussed as tenets of the “city to come” Damai’s view of what Derrida’s city of refuge would look like focuses largely on its ipseity and ability to offer unconditional welcome to “unconditional visitors” or asylum seekers. Damai argues that Derrida’s city is at once “more than one… and less than one”(70). (more…)

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Reprinted, reposted from The Public Humanist (blog of the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities)

I’ve been teaching about friendship for the past couple of weeks – Jacques Derrida’s utterly enigmatic Politics of Friendship, to be specific – so I was thrilled to read a reflection by my cross-campus colleague Robert Meagher on where friendship might lead us. There is much to say about friendship. Most of it, if we read the canonical texts on friendship in the Western tradition, places an insanely high standard on “true” friendship. So much so that we hardly think it possible to have such a friend. Or, maybe wonder if, as a student of mine once did after reading Montaigne’s account of his friendship with Etienne de la Boetie, “you really want that much f@#!ing human in your life. We gotta live, man!” No doubt. (more…)

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